As we enter the dog days of summer, awareness of the federal government is up slightly this week, and Canadians do not like what they are hearing. Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) Canadians have read, seen, or heard something about the Prime Minister and the federal government this week, up four points from earlier this month. The impact of recalled news stories on the Liberal government has turned more negatively since last week with the net impact dipping six points (net -33 to -39).
While the WE controversy remains the top recalled item about the Prime Minister, it is a smaller share of what people are hearing than just a few weeks ago. Among those that have something about the federal government, a slim majority (53%) recall the WE charity controversy. This is a sharp drop since early August polling, when our weekly tracking showed 7-in-10 (70%) respondents recalling the controversy. Moreover, looking at all Canadians, not just those who have heard something, less than a third (31%) in our poll recall the WE controversy, down from 45% in mid-July. Filling the gap are mentions of the Prime Minister’s response; the Finance Minister shuffle (32%) and proroguing parliament (23%).
Canadians that recall any of these topics, whether the original controversy or the responses feel much more negatively towards the Liberal government afterward:
Two-in-three (65%) feel less favourable towards the PM and the Liberal government after recalling the WE charity controversy while just 7% feel more favourably.
Similarly, for the cabinet shuffle (46% less favourable, 14% more favourable) and the proroguing of parliament (65% less favourable, 4% more favourable), Canadians who recall something are much more likely to feel negatively towards the PM and the Liberal government.
Shuffling the Finance Minister and proroguing the house may eventually help the government turn the page on the WE controversy, but any benefits have yet to become apparent.
For detailed results, download our full report here.